AP source: Harper, Nats agree at $7.5M, 2 years

WASHINGTON (AP) Outfielder Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals came to terms on a $7.5 million, two-year contract, avoiding a grievance hearing.

Harper will receive salaries of $2.5 million in 2015, and $5 million in 2016 from the reigning NL East champions, according to a person familiar with the agreement who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not been announced.

Harper, the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year, had been scheduled to have a $1 million salary in 2015, along with the chance to earn up to $500,000 in roster bonuses. But the Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance on his behalf over whether he could void the final season of the $9.9 million, five-year contract he signed when he was drafted No. 1 overall in 2010.

An arbitrator would have heard the grievance this week, but that's no longer needed.

On Saturday, Harper skipped the Nationals' annual fan festival, which did not sit well with general manager Mike Rizzo.

''We're disappointed he's not here,'' Rizzo said, ''but he chose not to be here because of the grievance.''

Harper's representatives released a statement from him that day, in which he said he was ''unable to attend this year's event due to matters out of my control.''

Harper, who turned 22 in October, is already a two-time NL All-Star and one of the Nationals' most popular and marketable players.

He's coming off an injury-interrupted season in which he batted .273 with 13 homers and 32 RBIs but thrived in Washington's NL Division Series loss to the San Francisco Giants. Harper hit .368 with three homers and four RBIs in that four-game series.

Mostly a left fielder or center fielder so far in the majors, Harper is going to move to right field next season, with Jayson Werth switching from that spot to left.

''I like Harper's arm. It's really strong,'' Nationals manager Matt Williams said Saturday when asked why the players are swapping positions. ''The demands of going to right-center and making that throw are difficult.''

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AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

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